has established a well deserved reputation for producing some of
the best combat autoloading pistols on the market.
In fact, I use four Kimber .45 autos a lot--both a black
and a stainless TLE/RLII, a Desert Warrior, and a Custom CDP II.
I would feel well armed carrying any of these pistols as
they have proven themselves both reliable and accurate again and
again. Even though this
article is about a Kimber rifle, I mentioned my experience with
Kimber handguns to make that point that I have had long
familiarity with Kimber quality.
During the period Iíve been using Kimber pistols, I
have been aware that the company also produces high quality
sporting rifles, but since my orientation has always been
towards tactical rifles I showed little interest.
However, once I saw Kimberís Advanced Tactical Rifle,
I suddenly got interested in it.
is actually offering three variants of tactical rifle, but I am
going to focus on the top-of-the-line Kimber Advanced Tactical
Rifle Kit. First, let me
say that I am normally suspicious of tactical rifle ďkitsĒ
which come with scope, bipod, etc. since many companies donít
really supply high quality accessories in such kits.
This is not the case with the Kimber Advanced Tactical
Rifle Kit. Each accessory
is top quality, usually the one I would have chosen as the best
of its type. This is so
much the case that when the big case containing the ďKit.Ē
arrived and I opened it for the first time, I actually felt a
bit of a ďWow!Ē factor. Since I see a lot of guns every year to test, it takes something
special to cause me to pause to be impressed.
neat as the kit is, though, if the rifle isnít good itís
just window dressing. Kimberís
Advanced Tactical Rifle is chambered for the .308 round, the
standard for law enforcement and many military applications.
Probably the first thing most shooters will notice with
the Advanced Tactical is the McMillan A-5 stock in desert camo.
It is very striking in appearance, but it also
incorporates a lot of really useful tactical features.
For example, it incorporates five sling swivel studs, one
of which is only for bipod attachment.
The others, however, offer the ability to attach a sling
in various positions using quick detach swivel connectors.
Since the rifle weighs close to 10 lbs without scope and
bipod, a good sling is a necessity. The choice of attachment points allows a tactical marksman to
tighten up to use the sling for shooting from the seated or
kneeling position or even from off hand but or have the option
for switching attachment points for ease of carry.
Length of pull is adjustable through removal or addition
of spacers beneath the recoil pad.
Drop at heel and drop at comb are adjustable as well.
I also like the flat on the forearm which allows use of a
sand bag or other rest.
glass bedded action uses a full length Mauser claw extractor,
much better than the extractor used on some other ďtactical
rifles.Ē The safety is
a 3-position Model 70 Winchester type.
I am used to most tactical rifles having a receiver
mounted sliding safety of some type so I had to get used to the
bolt-mounted lever safety on the Advanced Tactical.
Thatís not a criticism since it is a very sure safety
and one that is easy to flick off with the thumb without
shifting shooting position or losing cheek weld.
Since I train tactical units and test tactical rifles a
lot, I switch among up to a dozen types to keep my familiarity. The typical tactical marksman, however, will use one rifle to which
he will become accustomed so as long as itís a good safety
system, he will be able to operate it smoothly.
Bottom line--the Advanced Tactical has a good safety.
capacity is 5 rounds. The
Advanced Tactical uses a fixed magazine, and that is my only
real criticism of this rifle. Many
tactical marksmen today prefer a detachable magazine which
allows multiple types of rounds to be carried to fit possible
tactical situations (i.e. hollow point, AP, etc. ).
Secondly, large hostage incidents such as at Beslan
School in Russia have shown that tactical marksmen facing large
numbers of terrorists with large numbers of hostages may have to
give rapid covering fire to protect escaping hostages; hence, a
fast reload capability is desirable.
On the plus side, the Advanced Tacticalís magazine is
one of the smoothest and most reliable fixed magazines Iíve
tried on a tactical rifle.
Advanced Tactical uses a 24 inch bull barrel with a 1 in 12
right hand twist and 4 grooves. The
chamber is match grade and carefully polished.
During rapid engagement drills in which I fired two or
three rounds at plates at 100, 200, or 300 yards as quickly as I
could work the bolt, I found the combo of the polished chamber
and smooth magazine allowed very fast multiple engagement.
To match the stock, the barrel has a tan finish as well.
trigger is adjustable and comes from the factory with pull set
at 3.0-3.5 lbs. It is
very smooth and crisp and is a real aid to accurate shooting.
A Mil Spec Picatinny rail with 20 minutes of elevation
allows mounting of a variety of scopes.
The bolt head is of the bulbous type that allows very
sure and fast operation. Normally,
tactical marksmen are trained to use the palm to quickly flip
the bolt handle up, back, and then forward.
The Advanced Tactical bolt handle aids in this
manipulation and helps counter short stroking.
In fact, when I was doing one fast engagement drill, my
shooting buddy sang out that he thought I had short stroked but
that was not the case.
upon how one arranges the spacers to obtain the most comfortable
length of pull, overall length will run somewhere between 43 and
44 inches. Weight
is 9 lbs 13 ounces. MSRP
on just the Advanced Tactical Rifle is $2497.00.
However, as I stated earlier in this article, I tested
the entire Advanced Tactical Rifle Kit so let me talk about the
important is the scope since no matter how good a tactical rifle
is, without a good scope its potential wonít be maximized. For inclusion with the Advanced Tactical, Kimber chose the Leupold
tactical scope that I
consider the best choice available for a .308 tactical rifle. The 3.5-10x40MM LR/T M1 Mil Dot Illuminated Reticle chosen by
Kimber is the same optic that I have normally carried on the
tactical rifle I sometimes carry in my truck.
The only difference is that this one is tan to match the
rifle. This scope is durable, relatively light and compact,
precise, and usable in low light.
The M1 dials allow precise adjustments for elevation and
windage with clicks that are audible and tactile (i.e. one can
feel the clicks through your finger tips).
With a bit of practice, one can dial in adjustments
quickly without removing the eye from the scope.
The Mil Dot system allows fast range estimation once
familiar with it and even if a laser range finder is used offers
an excellent backup. Iíve
used Mil Dots for so long that I just shoot better with them
even if I donít use them for range estimation all the time.
Leupoldís illuminated reticles are outstanding.
I have used them at 300 yards in almost complete darkness
when only a small amount of light illuminated the target and
shot groups close to a MOA. The
LR/T also incorporates a side focus dial which allows one to
adjust focus easily without removing the eye from the scope. I could go on, but suffice it to say that I donít feel
Kimber could have chosen a better optic for this rifle.
included with the kit is a Versa-Pod bipod.
Versa-Pod has a great reputation for holding up to a lot
of shooting. Two other
features I also like are that the spring-powered legs deploy
very fast and that the bipod may be easily detached from the
rifle for ease of carry or for shooting offhand.
Once again, had I been given my choice this is the bipod
I would have chosen for the rifle.
Technologyís 7.62 sniper rifle cleaning kit is included in a
nice compact carrying case as is an excellent tactical sling
with QD swivel connectors. A
sniperís record book and a torque wrench round out the rest of
the kit. The hard
case is fitted to the rifle and accessories and allows the rifle
to be carried with scope mounted.
of the scope being mounted, it comes already mounted when one
purchases the kit and is pre-bore sighted.
As a result, when I went to the range I proceeded
directly to 200 yards--the distance at which I normally zero
.308 tactical rifles--and put up a target.
Two three-shot groups with Black Hills 168 grain
BTHP and the Leupold was zeroed.
I then returned the LR/Tís dial to the zero position
for both windage and elevation so that I can precisely dial in
windage or elevation adjustments, then return to zero.
will say now and will, no doubt, repeat myself a couple of times
that I was very impressed with the Advanced Tactical Rifleís
accuracy. At 200
yards with Black Hills 168 grain BTHP, a load widely used in
.308 tactical rifles, I fired four three-shot groups, all of
which were under 2 inches with he best at between 1.25 and 1.5
inches. I also fired one
5-shot group that shaded just over 2 inches.
This is definitely a sub-MOA rifle.
yards, my groups ran just under or just over 3
inches--2.75-3.5,Ē once again excellent accuracy.
I wanted to try Federal .308 Winchester 168 grain
Match also since this is the other load I find a good benchmark
with tactical .308 rifles.
My first 3-shot group at 200 yards was .75 inches.
This isnít the first time Iíve shot less than 1/2 MOA
at 200 yards but I donít do it all that often.
Letís put it this way, if I can shoot less than 1/2 MOA
at 200 yards with the Advanced Tactical than a better
shooter--of which there are legion--should be able to go under
.5 inch to hit 1/4 MOA.
to a bum knee I did not shoot kneeling but did all of my
shooting from a standing rest or prone using the bipod.
In all, I put 80 rounds of the Black Hills loads and 20
of the Federal through the Kimber so I could really get a feel
for the rifle. Feeding
was smooth throughout as was the operation of the bolt.
My shoulder, which sometimes shows bruising after
shooting a lot of rifle rounds prone or off a bench, was none
the worse for wear; the Advanced Tacticalís weight and good
recoil pad make it very pleasant to shoot. At 200 and 300 yards I used the LR/T on six power, but then
did some 550 yard shooting at a hanging plate with it on 10
also did some off hand shooting at 100 yards at plates, normally
starting with the Advanced Tactical rifle in a ready position,
then bringing it up to acquire and engage.
The Advanced Tactical is not light, but it can be shot
off hand by anyone with good arm strength.
more I shot the Advanced Tactical Rifle the more I liked it.
And, since it is a very handsome rifle instead of
sticking it in the corner when I got home and thinking,
ďIíll get to cleaning it after dinner,Ē
I actually took time to handle it and clean it before
dinner--Thatís big!! I
really, really like this rifle.
rifle is not cheap and the kit is certainly not cheap.
As I mentioned earlier, just the rifle in the hard case
retails at $2497.00. The
contents of the kit add another $2575.00 retail.
Therefore, the entire Kimber Advanced Tactical Rifle Kit
as I tested it has an MSRP of $5072.00.
Price high quality tactical rifles and high quality
tactical scopes and that total wonít sound at all out of line.
I did some thinking about the market for this rifle which
made me consider a friend who is quite successful and earns a
good income. He is
interested in guns but not extremely so.
He is most interested in having a few quality guns in
case of emergency or attempted home invasion or other unforeseen
He has a couple of excellent defensive handguns and a
concealed carry license. He
owns an AK47, a good supply of spare magazines, and a case of
ammo. He has also expressed an interest in a good tactical rifle.
I feel this Kimber kit would be perfect for him.
Everything is there.
One range session would have the rifle zeroed.
He could take it out a couple of times a year as he does
his other weapons and shoot it, check zero, check the battery in
the Leupold for the illuminated reticle, and get his yearly
shooting practice in. I
think Kimber lovers will want to add an Advanced Tactical Rifle
to their collection as well. I
mean, after all, if you have a Kimber Desert Warrior you need a
tan rifle to go with your tan pistol!
This is such a neat Kit that I think some of us will just
start looking for excuses to buy one.
certainly like the rifle and the accessories. It is a very handsome setup and it shoots with other world-class
tactical rifles. Whatís
not to like?
more information about products discussed contact:
& Stevens, Inc.
Firearms Specialties, Inc. (Versapod)
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